Milwaukee, WI asked in Family Law and Child Support for California

Q: Court ordered child support. Parents agreed to new plan two years later, notarized agreement. Did not make court aware

Court ordered father to pay child support. After two years, mother offered to forgo child support in lieu of claiming the child on taxes each year. Before they rotated. A new agreement was written and notarized. Court was not made aware of the change. Court orders did mandate both parents provide insurance if employer offered it. Currently the child is on father's insurance and expenses are supposed to be split 50/50. That is what the parents agreed upon. If mother is not paying her 50% portion of insurance, etc how can we recoup those costs? What is the correct process?

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1 Lawyer Answer

Martha Bronson

Answered
  • Tracy, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Many courts typically order that both parents provide insurance if it is offered and that medical and other extra ordinary expenses above the child's general daily living expenses, be split 50/50. As such, I would first recommend that you carefully review the initial support order to see if there is an order splitting uninsured medical expenses or other expenses 50/50. If there is, then you would simply file a motion (Request for Order form FL300) with the court asking that it enter an order for a sum certain for reimbursement of fifty percent of the expenses paid. The fact that you subsequently entered into written modification agreement (that was not entered as an order of the court) two years later will not, by itself, serve to invalidate the initial court orders. In fact, if your notorized written agreement states that mother shall pay the uninsured medicals and other extra expenses, it will only strengthen your position that mother is obligated to pay. Your comment that "mother is not paying her 50% portion of insurance" is confusing because it would be unusual for the court to order the other parent to pay for half of the insurance. The 50/50 apportionment typically only applies to uninsured medical expenses and other extra expenses, but not the costs of the insurance coverage itself. I hope this was help. Seek legal advice and assistance from an experienced family law attorney to guide or otherwise represent you if you decide to go forward with obtaining an order of reimbursement. One last point, and that is the court may limit you on how far you can go back and ask for reimbursement because in every case the court enters a support order that includes a right of reimbursement, they attached an information sheet that explains how to go about asking for the reimbursement from the other parent. That notice states that you need to make the request from the other parent within thirty days of incurring the expense. Experience has proven that the court often times does not enforce the time limits because most people do not read the notice or they read it but do not abide by it. Just be aware that the issue may arise. Good luck.

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